No.22 Prison Camp,
Forced Labor camps in North Korea came into being after World War II when Japanese colonial rule over the region ended. Japanese collaborators, landowners, and remaining families of those who fled to the South were among the first prisoners. It is reported that North Korea is running as many as six different political and forced labor camps. The North Korean government denies the existence of such camps, and little information about the prison camps can be found. What the world knows has been taken from accounts by former guards and prisoners who have defected. Satellite imagery of alleged prison locations show no distinctive markings. The camps are not surrounded by walls, but reportedly, the prison camps encompass areas as large as Washington DC.
Condemned by the international human rights community, most of these camps are located in central North Korea far away from Russian and Chinese borders in rugged mountain terrain. There is speculation as to the exact numbers of prisoners being held in these facilities, but it is believed to number in the hundred thousands.
Accounts from former prisoners and guards indicate forced laborers mine coal, make uniforms for the military, work in reprocessing factories, and farm. Reportedly, the prisoners themselves, are treated harshly. The prisoners are fed a diet of corn powder, cabbage leafs, and salt. Both defectors and human rights groups assert prisoners at North Korean camps are routinely beaten and used as a free economic tool by the regime.
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